Endemic Birds of Ethiopia
Ethiopia has rightly become one of Africa`s leading birding destinations. Its avifauna represents an interesting mixture of east and west African, Palearctic and some strikingly unusual endemic components. In addition to more than 800 species of birds, of which a staggering 29 are endemic to Ethiopia and its neighbour Eritrea, Ethiopia has a number of peculiar mammals, and a scenic diversity and cultural uniqueness that are hard to equal.
ETHIOPIAN ENDEMIC BIRDS List
SPECIAL AND SPECTACULAR BIRDS IN ETHIOPIA
ENDANGERED BIRDS IN ETHIOPIA
"haa-haa-haa-haa" call, the Wattled Ibis is easily recognized even from some distance away. A flock of these ibises rising or flying overhead becomes especially noisy and obvious. In flight a white patch shows on the upper surface of the ibis' wing, and at close range its tliroat wattle is visible. These two diagnostic features distinguish the Wattled Ibis from the closely related Hadada Ibis (Bostrychia hagedavli), which also occurs in Ethiopia.
The goose has a peculiar habit, whether standing or walking, of resting its neck on its back. Indeed this posture together with the comparatively dull body color and bluish wing-patches are useful marks for identifying the species. Another characteristic habit of the goose can be observed during pair formation when the male struts around the female, his head bent over his back, and his bill pointed skywards or even behind him, exposing his blue wing patch and uttering a rapidly repeated soft, barely audible whistle, a "wnee-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu". Parties of this goose, like other geese, station sentinels at the periphery of the flock. An alarmed goose produces a soft "whew-whu-whu-wliu" and, when forced into flight, a rather nasal bark, a "penk, penk-penk", uttered at take-off but not in flight.
Harwood's Francolin has been reported from only three localities along about 160 kilometers of valleys and gorges within the upper Blue Nile system extending to the east and north of the Addis Ababa-Debre Marcos-Dejen bridge; this francolin is a very poorly known Ethiopian endemic. It was first recorded for science in 1898 at Ahiyafej, then again in 1927 at Bichana, and in 1930 at Kalo Ford along the banks of the Blue Nile "below Zemie". No other record of this species has been published although recent reports suggest that it is more widely distributed than previously thought.
The Rouget's Rail is common on the western and southeastern highlands, but its presence is not so obvious as that of some other endemics. Once one is able to recognize the bird's calls, one well appreciates how common this rail is. It has two calls which are useful in identification: one, a piercing alarm note, a "dideet" or "a di-dii", and the other, a display call, "wreeeee-creeuw-wreeeee-creeliw". This Rail mainly lives at higher elevations of up to 4,100 meters (13,500 feet) where it inhabits small pockets of grass tussock and wet hollows with plenty, of cover; it is a characteristic bird of the moorlands of Ethiopia.
The Spot-breasted Plover is an endemic usually found above 3050 meters (10,000 feet) in marshy grasslands and moorlands with giant health, giant lobelia, alchemilla and tussock grass in both the western and southeastern highlands. Widely distributed and locally common, the plover usually is seen in pairs or in small parties, or, in the non-breeding season, in small flocks of up to 30-40 individuals. Its behavior has been compared with that of the Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) of Europe: it is a relatively tame, noisy bird with a swerving flight; on the ground it makes short runs and sudden stops. When calling, it produces a "kree-kree-kre-krep-kreep-kreep", a "kueeeep-kueep" and the cry "pewit-pewit". It is distinguished from other plovers by having fleshy wattles in front of the eyes and by the breast spotted with black.